This page consists of stanzas 15 to 17 of this Sanskrit version of the popular story of Kālaka.

The monk Kālaka continues to address King Gardabhilla, who has just kidnapped his sister, the nun Sarasvatī. He tries to convince the king to leave her alone, reminding him of a monarch’s duty. He says that behaviour like his is a sign that the population is not safe. Moreover, the monk says, the king must have enough beautiful ladies in his harem.

Gardhabhilla listens without replying.

Other visual elements

There are several notable things about this page, which is not in perfect condition as the edges are slightly torn.

The Kālaka story is often an appendix to Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. In many Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. This often holds true for the manuscripts of the Kālaka story as well. Here this aim is signalled by the:

  • shape and style of the script, which is close to calligraphy
  • use of gold ink for the red-edged border lines and ornamental diamond shapes
  • division of the text into two equally-sized panels, separated by a 2-centimetre margin containing a golden diamond
  • blue ornamental motifs around the golden diamonds.

There are three ornamental diamonds because this is the verso side of a folio.

This version of the Kālaka story is told in poetry. Verse numbers are at the end of each stanza. They are often in red, like here. On this page are the following numbers:

  • 15 on line 3
  • 16 on line 5
  • 14 on the last line.

This means that this page contains verses 15 and 16, and part of verse 17.

The bottom of the right margin contains the number 188, which is the folio number. It is a high number because this manuscript is the continuation of a Kalpa-sūtra manuscript. However, the rest of the manuscript is not available.


The elaborate script used is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, which is here like calligraphy. There are a few notable features of this script.

Firstly, it is an old type in the way the sounds e and o are notated when used with a consonant, known as pṛṣṭhamātrā script.

There are red vertical lines within the text marking out verse divisions. Single red vertical lines indicate where a verse is divided in two, while double red vertical lines are found at the end of the verse.